The majority of my clients are right where you are. They want to share ideas and information, they want to write, but the technical aspects of using the internet as the venue presents a barrier, and they can’t see the path around it.
Today, I’m going to show you that path — the path from having no presence on the internet at all to creating your first blog post in WordPress. From zero to 60 (or at least 30) in just about a week. See what’s really involved. Then just follow the steps below and you’ll be well on your way!
#1 Choose a Topic
Before you decide to become a blogger, you should have a firm idea of a topic or focus for your blog. Obvious? Maybe. But I’m always struck by how many people are enamored with the idea of making money and/or gaining prestige while sitting in a corner of their home office. They venture out to start blogging, but have absolutely no idea what they will be writing about.
That’s much like saying you want to be a performing artist, when you haven’t yet learned to sing, dance, or act. (Yes, it worked for Paris Hilton, but what are the chances?)
When trying to narrow down your possible blog topics, remember that your blog topic should be:
- Specific enough that you can create interest.
Recently I saw a blog that was purported to be about “my random musings on life and other things.” It had a post on hiking, a post with a cake recipe, another about flat-screen TVs, one about her baby’s food fussiness. The posts were well-written, the design was pleasant, they gal was even pretty good at search engine optimization, but she was frustrated by lack of readers after a number of months of writing.
I suspect the problem had to do with focus. While some might be interested in her baby food adventures, how likely is the same reader to be researching electronic equipment? If you were a hiking enthusiast, how likely would you be to subscribe to a site that had one hiking article and a bunch of random stuff you had no interest in?
You certainly can create a very general blog. But unless you are a celebrity or a really entertaining writer, there probably aren’t a lot of people who really care enough about what popped into your head this morning. The blogosphere is brimming with similar personal blogs that are never read by anyone except the writer’s family. If that.
- General enough that there are sufficient numbers of interested folks to build a following and sufficient content to write about.
A recent discussion began when one blogger asked if a site can be “too niche.” My feeling was that a site can be so narrow that you simply have almost no one interested. Some argued that any niche can be successful. Maybe, but I’d like to see someone try to monetize a blog about acrylic nail artists who are Liza Minella fans with macrame fetishes.
Darren Rowse agreed that a site can be “too niche” and pointed out a related problem. Some blogs are built around a niche that has wide appeal, but not much possible content. According to Rowse, “The best example I saw was a guy who started a blog on a particular model of printer. He ran out of things to say after 5 days.” It was a really popular printer, but just how much can you really chat about such a topic?
- Something in which you have expertise.
You need to be more than just conversant about your topic, you also need to have a solid knowledge base to share with your readers and/or create a valuable experience for them. You might have chosen a great niche, but even if you are really enthused about the topic, you can’t write endlessly about your feelings. If you don’t know anything about it, you won’t be adding much substance on the topic.
You can learn as you go. but it best to be clear what you are doing. Rather than presenting yourself as a business expert, for example, let readers know you are a new entrepreneur. Rather than setting your blog up as a “how to make money” site, frame it as a “watch my new business grow, learn from my successes and failures” site.
- Something you have passion for.
Successful blogging is a long-term project. And if you’re going to be blogging about something for years, it had better be something you are interested in. If you thoroughly enjoy the subject, it shows in your writing. It excited you. You are internally motivated to learn and research your topic, to keep up on the surrounding industry, to meet people and attend events related to the topic. You will continually have new material because you’ll be immersed in the topic you love.
#2 Select a Domain
Your first serious consideration will be to find a domain name that’s available. When I coded my first web site in 1994, this was easy. Today, domains are a scarce resource. So plan to take some time finding one that works for you.
You’ll need to spend some time trying different, applicable names. To do this, simply go to any domain registrar (like Network Solutions or GoDaddy) and enter some combinations. NameBoy has a clever tool that allows you to enter various words and it displays myriad possible combinations — along with synonyms — and shows you which are available. It’s a great domain name brainstorming tool.
When choosing your name, make it easy on your readers. Make it easy to find, to remember, to spell your website URL. Think about these issues:
Is your URL descriptive without being spammy?
There’s a fine line between a domain that is descriptive and uses a keyword or two, and one that is downright junk-mail silly. Consider:
CandyCaneBooks.com vs. SuperBudgetBooksOnline.com
AcmeWebsites.com vs. BuyCheapWebsites.com
ParentPatriots.com vs. TheBestMomPolitics.com
Is it easy to spell?
Face it. Lots of folks just can’t spell and even for those who can, some words are harder (and more likely to be misspelled) than others. Consider avoiding words that readers are going to enter incorrectly.
If your domain name has words like “entrepreneur,” “accommodation,” “conscientious,” “embarrass,” or “guarantee” be prepared to have a lot of potential readers end up somewhere else!
Are there multiple possible spellings?
Think hard before choosing a domain with a word that has multiple correct spellings. How will readers remember which one you chose?
For years I’ve owned a popular site with the word “momma” in the URL. In order to keep readers from ending up at a dead end or, worse, at a competing (or copycat) site, each year I pay for the version I use, as well as versions with “mamma” and “mama” in them. Then I have to make sure they are properly redirected to the correct site.
It’s not a huge expense or a deal-breaker, but it is just one more thing on my to-do list.
Are you misspelling on purpose?
Some people think it’s cute to name a business something like Kountry Kitchen, as if using a double letter outweighs the need for proper spelling. Personally, I think it’s goofy, but when you’re on the internet it’s just plain dumb. When you’re striving to get name recognition, do you really want to force your readers to try to remember your fabricated spelling?
That said, I’ve even used invented spellings myself. Sometimes it works if the invented spelling makes sense to the readers. But if you chose to go this route, buy the conventional spelling, too, so those who tend to spell correctly can still find you.
Is your URL excessively long?
Technically, you can have 67 characters in your domain name. But don’t.I strongly suggest you stick with dot com for your top-level domain. Simply put, that is the ending people will assume. If you’re lucky enough that they remember your hostname, you’re probably pushing your luck if you force them to remember an unexpected top-level domain, too.
Still, if another top-level domain really fits your site (for example dot org for a non-profit corporation), use it. One caveat: avoid dot biz. It’s generally considered spammy and will likely cause you all sorts of headaches with your email being filtered and bounced, among other things. (I speak from experience, using dot biz for a legitimate and well-crafted site. I learned my lesson.)
Is this what you want to call your blog?
Whatever domain you end up using, give your site the same name. If you want to call your blog “Suzy’s Happy Blog” and suzyshappyblog.com is taken, choose another name! Let it go! Don’t use the URL mysupersuzyblog.com and then have a huge header that says, “Suzy’s Happy Blog.”
Why? Because if you’re lucky enough that your readers remember your amazing Suzy’s Happy Blog, next time they want to read it, they’re going to go to suzyshappyblog.com and read someone else’s happy entries!
Is your domain hyphenated?
I own a few dozen hyphenated domains. Often, when I have multi-word domains, I use hyphens. But I only buy them if the non-hyphenated version is available as well.Hyphenated names are often much easier to read. Experts-Exchange.com will likely pull a different clientele than expertsexchange.com. And while it might be perfectly legitimate to look for counseling at Therapist-Finder.com, you might wonder about someone doing research on therapistfinder.com.
Distinguishing between words not only helps your readers, but might give you a bit of a bump in the search engines as they, too, can distinguish your keywords when they are separated with hyphens. But, again, I only use hyphenated sites if I can also buy the non-hyphenated site to redirect to my real website.
You want your visitors to return to your site. Make it easy to find you the first time and every time thereafter.
#3 Select Web Hosting
We make it a policy to buy our domains from one provider and our hosting from another. The separation of powers, so to speak, is a level of protection should you have a problem with either company. So once you’ve purchased your domain, I suggest you look at other companies to find a good hosting package.
With that in mind, here are some questions to ask a potential hosting service:
- Disk Space
How much space can I use for my files and images? What happens when I run out?
How much traffic can I generate? What if I exceed my quota?
What is your uptime percentage? On average, what percentage of the time will my site be inaccessible to viewers?
- Customer Service
How do you deal with problems? How can I contact you for help?
How much will hosting cost me each year? Are there payment terms?
It’s also a good idea to get recommendations from people you trust. Online “reviews” may really be nothing more than affiliate sites where people are getting paid to refer your business. They may be honest evaluations, but unless you know the source, you can’t be sure. A few positive recommendations from people who don’t stand to benefit is a good sign of a quality hosting company.
For more help with choosing a host, please check out the BloggingTips Book ‘Choosing A Web Host : Helping You Choose The Right Host For Your Blog‘.
#4 Set Up Your Site
Once you have a domain and hosting purchased, there are a few more things to address. I won’t go into technical detail, but here’s a rundown of what needs to be done.
Point your domain name to your website
In a nutshell, this allows those who type in your URL (held by one provider) to view your website (stored at a different provider).
WordPress installation requires downloading the WordPress package from WordPress.org, creating a database on your server along with a MySQL user who can modify it, uploading some files, changing with a few file names, and running an install script.
Some hosting services have programs that make such installs very easy. If you plan on doing this yourself, make sure your host has the tools you need to match your skill level. Otherwise, you can easily hire someone to take care of the technical side.
Choose a theme
Now you have a fresh, slick WordPress install. But face it, it’s downright ugly. The default theme, a Kubrick variation, is extremely dated and overused. The other installed theme, WordPress Classic is better, but not much. But the beauty of WordPress and its enormous community is that you can choose from thousands and thousands of free themes and hundreds of premium (or paid) themes to turn your ugly little site into a thing of beauty in just minutes!
Get recommendations, do some web search, and find the look to fit your sit topic. Also consider the support provided for the theme you choose. WordPress upgrades often mean theme upgrades are needed as well.
Customize your site
Now that your site has form and style, you’ll still need to tweak a few things to make it your own. I recommend at least the following actions:
- Set your site name and tagline
- Specify link structure
- Add a header image
- Arrange widgets in your sidebar
- Activate Akismet (a default comment spam blocker)
- Add plugins to increase functionality
- Decide on appropriate settings
- Add an RSS feed
- Add a subscription signup
- Create categories and tags
#5 Add Pages
The default WordPress setup starts with two pages: a “Home” page and an “About” page. The Home page shows an excerpt of your most recent posts, in reverse chronological order. The About page is blank, and intended as a holding place for info about you, your site, or your company.
In addition to these two pages, you may want to add others. I suggest every site at least have a contact page that has a form so readers can contact you.
#6 Write Your First WordPress Post
Now that your basic site functions are set, you can begin creating posts. Posts are the heart of a blog, they are the content, they are what drive people to your site. If you’re a blogger, this is where you should probably spend the bulk of your time.
Write a lot, but write with care. Make sure your blog posts:
- Fit with the intended focus of your blog
- Are clear, well-organized, and readable
- Use proper grammar
- Include good HTML structure
- Are appropriately tagged and categorized
You’re officially a blogger, but you’re certainly not done. Now comes the work of adding relevant, helpful content on a regular basis. You’ll need to learn some search engine optimization. You’ll need to draw readers and increase traffic. Depending on your goals, you may want to monetize your site.
There is much left to do and to learn. Blogging isn’t a short-term project. Keep going and keep learning. You’re off to a running start.
8 WordPress Plugins Beginner Bloggers Should Have
Beginning a WordPress blog is an exciting new adventure. Not only are WordPress blogs a wonderful way to showcase the many ways you express your creative self, but they’re a great place to begin your business. The digital age has proved just how lucrative a career online can be, which is why so many ambitious creatives and entrepreneurs turn to WordPress.
Within the realm of WordPress, plugins allow users to add a number of different extended software programs to their website. They enhance the functionality of your site and add exciting features that engage site visitors in a myriad of different ways. There are over 55,000 third-party plugins within WordPress’ directory, giving you plenty to work with as you customize and brand your blog. But what are the must-haves among such a vast collection of add-on software?
Let’s walk you through the basic WordPress plugins every beginner site-maker should have, regardless of the content that will soon inhabit your unique domain.
Yoast SEO has become one of the most popular WordPress plugins for novices and seasoned site-makers alike. Yoast boasts the most comprehensive search engine optimization solution, packed with an impressive selection of features and tools to improve your on-page SEO. Add meta tags, create sitemaps, and optimize your site for Google, social media, and more.
When it comes to conversion rate optimization plugins, no software performs better than OptinMonster. Designed to allow users to convert bouncy visitors into interested email subscribers and paying customers, OptinMonster works hard so you don’t have to. By giving you the power to personalize campaigns to users, OptinMonster makes you more money. OptinMonster is a valuable tool for bloggers, eCommerce entrepreneurs, and new business owners.
When building your blog, security should be at the forefront of your mind. Sucuri is one of the leading security WordPress plugins that offers DNS-level network firewalls, and intrusion/brute force prevention, as well as malware and blacklist-removal services. By sending all of your website traffic through their cloud proxy, Sucuri is able to scan every single request and decide whether or not traffic is legitimate and what traffic can successfully pass through.
MemberPress gives you the key to building online communities and membership sites via WordPress—so it’s really no wonder why it’s one of the essential plugins to date. Not only can you create subscriptions and manage content available to users based on their subscription plans, but you can even incorporate a number of popular payment solutions and online store features with ease.
While everyone wants their site to receive traffic, nobody wants the traffic to be dominated by spam and bots. Akismet’s number one job is to filter out and delete spam comments that can hurt your site’s legitimacy. Akismet is lauded for its 99.4% accuracy rate that gives you the peace of mind you need to tackle unwanted content on your blog.
Whether you’re an artist showcasing your one-of-a-kind pieces or a graphic-design lover who wants to add some stylish flair to your site, Nivo Slider gives you the power to display an interactive image slideshow on your site that draws visitors in. Add a splash of creativity with the visual wonder delivered by the Nivo Slider’s crisp on-page clarity and allure. It’s easy to navigate and comes with a comprehensive design structure that is truly user-friendly.
MailChimp for WordPress
MailChimp is one of the world’s most popular email marketing services that allows users to manage subscribers, send emails, and track the fruits of your labor in bulk. It is an absolute must-have plugin for WordPress webmasters and business owners and it’s completely free to add to your blog. If you’re looking to spruce up your eCommerce site, opt for the premium version, instead.
Designed to prevent third-party hackers from running a brute force attack on your blog, Loginizer is another security essential worth lining up on your plugin list. Loginizer works by blocking an IP address after a maximum number of login attempts has been reached. The plugin also allows you to blacklist or whitelist specific IP addresses. Venture into higher-level security features like two-factor authentication, reCAPTCHA, Passwordless login, and more to bolster your site’s safety.
With these 8 must-have plugins, you’ll be well on your way toward creating the WordPress blog of your dreams. What are other beginner-level plugins you use on your WordPress blog or recommend to novices? Let us know in the comments below!
ONE by TemplateMonster – Ultimate Subscription Service to Fulfil Any Web Design Task
ONE by TemplateMonster is the one and only subscription service that provides web designers and developers with the ultimate selection of high-quality digital products and services they can use to streamline their workflow. Every professional webmaster knows the true value of quality web design items in their work. Having a collection of the right tools and web design elements in a toolbox, one can focus on the creation of impressive and competitive digital works without having to worry about extra designs, extensions or graphics that are needed to complete your projects.
As a rule, all quality web design items are pricey. So, it may cost you or your client a pretty penny to launch a stunning digital work from scratch. However, thanks to services like ONE by TemplateMonster, provide you with unlimited access to a series of quality web design tools that you can use for your own digital works without any restrictions.
ONE is the ultimate subscription service delivered by the giant digital marketplace for $19 per month. As soon as you subscribe to the service, you are provided with the unlimited access to the ever-growing collection of 8500+ best-selling digital products including premium-quality web themes, plugins, and graphics, all of which are accompanied with expert 24/7 support. Apart from its best price in the market, there are plenty of other reasons to subscribe to the service. Let’s review them in more details.
ONE is a real time-saver for everyone working with web designs. This is a handy subscription service that provides you with unlimited access to a range of high-quality digital products from TemplateMonster digital marketplace.
Subscribing to the ONE, web designers and developers can get literally everything they need to streamline their workflow and create sites that will make every client leave fully satisfied.
All digital items from the subscription are intended to be handled by the users of different skills levels on their own. For example, most of the premium WordPress themes that are added to the subscription are enhanced with the drag-and-drop functionality that allows you to achieve the desired look and feel of your site’s layout as you simply work in the intuitive visual mode.
With the ONE, webmasters also get a bunch of plugins and high-quality graphics suited to be used for a number of purposes.
The giant marketplace took special care to include only the best items into their subscription. You will see it by yourself when you browse the gallery of items that the ONE delivers. All items from the subscription service have proven to be in great demand among TemplateMonster customers due to their high quality and the value they deliver to both expert and beginner webmasters.
The best-selling digital items from the subscription service cover more than 25 different product type. This makes it hard not to find the ideal solution for any type of online project that you need to create. No matter if that’s a corporate site, a business startup project, online portfolio or a personal blog that you would like to bring to the web. ONE delivers all the designs and tools that you may need in a single subscription.
Subscribing to the ONE, you are provided with unlimited access to the collection of 8,500+ digital products for different purposes and topic-specific online projects. If you browse the gallery, then you will come across the best-selling themes compatible with the latest versions of popular content management systems and eCommerce platforms. If you follow the latest industry news, then you should know about such popular themes as Monstroid2 WordPress theme, Woostroid2 WooCommerce theme, Eveprest PrestaShop theme, and StoreFlex OpenCart theme.
By now, there are 4,000+ best-selling themes being included in the subscription, with more than 1,000 of them being high-quality WordPress items. While using the subscription, you can get unlimited downloads of landing page themes, ready-to-go eCommerce solutions, online portfolio web projects, stunning blogging themes, multi-purpose web designs, and so much more.
One of those best-selling web themes is their include extended developer license, which allows you to download and install such themes for an unlimited number of times.
Alongside with a wide choice of best-selling themes, the ONE subscription includes a number of premium-quality Jet Family plugins for Elementor page builder, as well as high-quality graphics to spice up the visual presentation of your web projects. A website creator needs to have an all-inclusive pack of illustrations, icons, animated banners, and fonts always at his disposal. Using ONE, you can access it all and even more for an unlimited number of times.
As it’s been announced by the team standing behind the ONE subscription service, the collection of best-selling themes, plugins, and graphics will be expanded with 100 more items every month.
All digital items from the subscription service are ready to be managed even by beginner webmasters taking their first steps in the web design and development field. Whenever you need any kind f assistance on how to work with the chosen digital item, you can always rely on the professional assistance of the 24/7 support team that will help you solve any sort of issues.
Why Choose ONE by TemplateMonster
With all that being mentioned, let’s make a clear statement about the top reasons to use the ONE subscription service by TemplateMonster.
- With the ONE subscription, you can download all best-selling digital products from the marketplace without any limitations or restrictions.
- Whenever you need any kind of extra assistance of additional services like template installation, website customization, security or the speed tweaks, and even complete website creation, you can order it from from the ONE team for an extra cost. TemplateMonster has experts engaged in all aspects of website creation. They will gladly help you make your digital works more efficient.
- Additionally, you can always rely on 24/7 expert technical support. A team of skilled customer care professionals is always ready to solve any sort of issues in a phone talk or via live chat.
As it’s been already mentioned, the service will cost you $19 per month, which means that you will get $229 nilled yearly. As soon as you purchase the subscription, you can go ahead and start downloading themes, plugins, and graphics without any restrictions. When your subscription expires, you can pay $229 once again to continue using all advantages of the ONE by TemplateMonster.
ONE by TemplateMonster is a must-have subscription service for everyone working in the web design and web development field. It delivers the ultimate toolbox of 8,500+ best-selling digital items that have proven to be in the biggest demand in the TemplateMonster digital marketplace.
The subscription service delivers an ever-growing collection of best-selling web themes for all types of CMS and eCommerce platforms. You can also work with a number premium-quality Jet Family plugins for Elementor page builder. The latter will be especially appreciated by the avid WordPress fans. Additionally, the subscription service includes a constantly growing collection of the high-quality graphics that you may feel free to personalize and use on your own website.
All items that are added to the subscription service can be downloaded for an unlimited number of times. Additionally, the gallery expands with 100 new core items every month. Whatever kind of assistance you may need in order to streamline your workflow, you can always rely on the professional help of customer support team 24/7.
Paying $229 per year, you get an impressive toolbox of digital items that would cost you thousands of dollars when purchased separately. If you think that ONE by TemplateMonster is exactly what you need to bring your creative digital projects to live, then don’t miss your chance to subscribe and get unlimited access to more than 8,500 high-quality best-selling digital items from the marketplace.
Achieving High Standards: 10 WordPress Education Themes to Get a Smart Website
Everybody understands that knowledge is power. There are always even more questions to be discovered. One of them really concerns thousands of people. What is the quickest way to launch a highly-professional website without applying lots of efforts? When you possess one of the best education WordPress themes, you do not need to have extensive coding skills. There is no need to hire a specialist from a popular web-design agency and pay him or her a heap of money. You can easily make others start taking your educational services seriously by means of the online-project created on the base of the ready-made solution.
We have chosen the most impressive WordPress business templates that include a bunch of instruments and elements. Each of them is capable of helping you provide your target audience with enjoyable and efficient user-experience. Are you ready to create a decent online-presence here and now? In this case, let us present 10 splendid themes that really worth your attention…
Educat – WordPress Theme
Teddy Academy – WordPress Theme
Rainbow Colleges – WordPress Theme
Edukid – WordPress Theme
Cedar High – WordPress Theme
Softtech – WordPress Theme
SkIllum – WordPress Theme
Educor – WordPress Theme
Cleveries – WordPress Theme
Education Pro – WordPress Theme
From now on, you know how it is possible to create an original educational website in the quickest way. In our opinion, each of these incredible templates is capable of making your audience grow bigger and bigger every single day. For this reason, do not be afraid to make your choice and start building your online-project right now. Thanks for reading!
Search Blogging Tips
Blogging2 years ago
6 Steps for How I Nabbed 6500 Comments on My Blog
Blogging1 year ago
113 Bloggers share their Favorite Email Marketing Tools
Blogging12 years ago
CoComment – The new way to track blog comments
Reviews2 years ago
LeadNetwork Pays Big Bucks for Payday Loans
Blogging3 years ago
6 Tools For Boosting Content Marketing Results Over The Holidays
Search Engine Optimisation3 years ago
7 SEO Analysis Tools Every Blogger Needs to Know
Blogging2 years ago
How to Start a Fashion Blog in 8 Simple Steps
Blogging3 years ago
How to Become a Nimble Blogger